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The Best East Coast National Parks

On the east coast of America, you’ll find several national parks offering an array of exciting activities and sights. From 19th-century castles to the longest cave system in the world, these parks are sure to enchant and amaze you.

For an unforgettable scuba diving and snorkeling adventure, Dry Tortugas National Park is the place to be. This island national park consists of seven islands that can only be reached via ferry, seaplane or chartered boat.

Cuyahoga River National Park

Cuyahoga River National Park is a must-visit for outdoor adventurers. Covering 50 square miles, this landscape boasts both natural and manmade features like wetlands, limestone ledges and waterfalls.

The Cuyahoga River meanders through floodplains, valleys and ravines as it winds its way towards visitors. With nearly 200 miles of streams feeding the river’s bends, visitors can enjoy fishing, kayaking and canoeing adventures along its course.

Ohio’s best kept secret, this park boasts stunning waterways and an array of activities. Additionally, the park has a vibrant cultural legacy, featuring remnants from the 19th-century Ohio & Erie Canal still intact.

At its northern edge, the Canal Exploration Center presents the history of this iconic waterway. Additionally, The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail has been restored, creating a walking and biking trail that traverses all of the park.

Hiking is a popular activity in the park, with trails spanning 125 miles with various difficulty levels. Furthermore, there’s a scenic train that passes through the area, as well as fishing being another popular pastime.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s five visitor centers help introduce visitors to its remarkable natural and cultural heritage. The Boston Store Visitor Center, situated in Boston, and Hunt Farm Visitor Center south of Peninsula are free-to-enter points that offer plenty of information on both areas’ natural and historical importance.

Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park, known as the oldest national park in America, sits right in the city center and provides visitors with plenty of recreational activities. It boasts numerous trails and nature observing areas for all ages to enjoy as well as plenty of shops, restaurants, and other family-friendly establishments nearby.

Bathhouse Row’s historic bathhouses are another draw to this park, providing visitors with a glimpse of therapeutic spa culture that dates back to the 19th century. Each one of the eight bathhouses that make up Bathhouse Row has its own distinct character and history, featuring beautifully laid tile, stained glass windows, marble walls and more.

Other enjoyable ways to spend your time in Hot Springs National Park include taking a ranger-led tour around the grounds, visiting the visitor center at Fordyce Bathhouse on historic Bathhouse Row, or watching a film about its fascinating past. There are junior ranger programs for kids and dogs as well as plenty of other activities that will keep you occupied and entertained during your stay!

One of the most impressive natural features of the park is its mountainous terrain and tufa rock formations. Birdwatchers flock here in spring and autumn to spot all sorts of different species. You might spot herons, swans, geese, ducks, eagles or falcons during their migrations here:

Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana Dunes National Park was authorized by Congress in 1966 as the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and redesignated as America’s 61st national park on February 15, 2019. Situated 15 miles along Lake Michigan’s southern shoreline, this 15,000-acre property features shifting sand dunes, tranquil woodlands, sunny prairies, meandering rivers and serene wetlands.

The parks’ natural habitats support over 350 species of birds and 1,100 flowering plant and fern species. Additionally, it protects the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly as well as a great blue heron rookery.

Indiana Dunes National Park offers visitors a wealth of activities, from hiking and swimming to picnicking and wildlife viewing. In wintertime, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular pursuits while in springtime the trails are lined with vibrant wildflowers.

Beaches are a popular summer attraction, but be aware that they can get quite hot during this period – you might want to consider visiting in the fall or winter instead for cooler temperatures.

In the springtime, visitors to the park can experience its birding festival. This four-day event offers guided hikes that will teach you all of the best spots for bird watching in the area.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Harpers Ferry is one of the east coast’s most remarkable national parks, boasting the Appalachian Trail, Civil War Battlefields and hiking trails for outdoor adventures. Harpers Ferry truly has it all – history and nature combined in one stunning place!

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, situated along the Potomac River in West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia, has been witness to several significant historical events. These include Meriwether Lewis’ Corps of Discovery expedition, John Brown’s abolitionist raid and one of the largest surrenders of Federal troops during the Civil War.

Visitors to the park can explore its museums, take a ranger-led tour and hike along Civil War battle lines. Additionally, there’s the iconic Shenandoah Canal – once an important transport link between Washington DC and Baltimore.

When planning a visit to the park, make sure you gather essential information at the visitor center and book a guide for various tours or activities. Planning ahead can ensure you make the most of your experience!

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park, situated along the Maine coast on Mount Desert Island, boasts woodlands, rocky coastlines, lakes and ponds as well as abundant wildlife. It’s one of the most visited parks in America – drawing 3.5 million visitors annually.

Landscapes across Iceland are formed through ongoing geologic processes. Granite ridges, for instance, have been weathered by water and freeze-thaw cycles which causes large joints in the rock that form square blocks that expand and break off when frozen – leaving vibrant pink scars on cliff faces.

The land is also shaped by the tides and waves of the ocean, creating salt marshes in protected valleys while beaches line sheltered coves.

Acadia National Park offers over 120 miles of trails for all levels of hikers, from easy strolls to strenuous activities. Plus, cyclists can take advantage of 45 miles of picturesque carriage roads for a leisurely spin around town.

Acadia National Park is a national treasure that’s open year-round. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, skiing and fishing here; however be aware that certain attractions tend to get busiest during summer months so plan your visit accordingly.

South Carolina State Park

South Carolina State Parks offer a wealth of natural, cultural and recreational attractions throughout the state. From majestic mountains to pristine blackwater rivers, picturesque lakes, white sand beaches and ancient inland shorelines – these parks protect some of America’s most inviting spots.

For a vacation that offers both nature retreat and captivating history, South Carolina State Parks are your perfect destination. Here, you’ll discover Congaree National Park with its sunken cypress forests, Star Fort in Ninety Six National Historic Site, plus much more.

Experience some of Pennsylvania’s most significant sites, from Cowpens National Battlefield to Musgrove Mill State Historic Site. Plus, don’t miss Reconstruction Era National Historical Park which details the rebuilding of South after Civil War and attempts to integrate freed enslaved people into American society as citizens with equal rights.

The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail follows the route taken by patriot militias during the Kings Mountain campaign of 1780. You can visit its visitor center to gain insight into this pivotal battle and its participants.

Florida Everglades National Park

The Everglades National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country’s most diverse natural ecosystems. Home to an abundance of wildlife, plants and waterways, this park supports thousands of species.

The Florida Everglades is a unique wetlands ecosystem that has evolved over millennia to the cycles of wet summers and dry winters. Its flora and fauna are unique to this part of the world, with many plant species closer to tropical than temperate ecotypes.

The Everglades once consisted of a vast, shallow river of grass but human activities such as water management have drastically altered its environment – leading to the loss of 50% of its original wetlands.

Thank to National Park Foundation supporters like you, acres upon acres of this mysterious swampland are preserved for future generations. But we must continue to educate and support efforts to preserve this natural treasure.

Burmese pythons are among the most endangered wildlife in the Everglades. Introduced to Florida in the 1990s, these snakes have rapidly grown in size and become a major threat to native species in the Everglades. Biologists believe they are responsible for eliminating many of Florida’s manatee population as well as creating an extensive ecological hazard for the park itself.

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